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Disappointment

by Zen Master D. Genpo Merzel Q: How is it that disappointment can bring about enlightenment or an awakening? Genpo: Disappointment is a cruel but vigorous teacher. We all enter the spiritual path with many ideas, notions, hopes and expectations. It is our hope that the spiritual path will save us from our fears, loneliness and feelings of emptiness. The more we attach to the notion or idea that something such…

Where am I stuck?

by Zen Master D. Genpo Merzel If you really want to practice Zen, not just know something about it, a good first question to ask is “where am I stuck?” We may think, ‘I’m not stuck,’ or ‘people fall into two categories: some are stuck and others are not, and I myself am [or am not].’  What I’m suggesting is that the question is not “if” I’m stuck, but “where?”  Assume…

Suffering

by Zen Master D. Genpo Merzel For much of my 40 years of Zen practice I was beyond most of the pain of this realm of suffering and loneliness. In the early days of practice I would alleviate suffering by asking myself, “who is the one suffering?” and since there was no one there, the suffering would cease. Instead of feeling the pain of loneliness, which so many people experience on…

Never ending clarification

by Zen Master D. Genpo Merzel It just gets clearer and clearer to me how much I, and we, are deluded by our enlightenment. We have a saying by Dogen Zenji: “We’re enlightened in our delusion. We’re deluded in our enlightenment. And then there’s delusion beyond delusion”. It’s all delusion, and enlightenment is just another delusion. There’s dualistic delusion, of self and others, and that’s where most of us are at….

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